A breakup or divorce places us in turmoil and the things we are familiar with suddenly turn upside down. Negative thoughts and deep and dark feelings are normal in this phase. A view of the problems and emotions becoming permanent is often all we see. Because of the stress to our body and brains, the solutions are often hidden and all we see is lack and limitation. After my marriage to a woman I was with for 26 years ended, at that time I was fearful that at almost 50 years old I would never meet another woman. Crazy thoughts entered my head. I witnessed all of the shallow relationships in existence and figured it was too much to go online to find dates and do the things that today’s world required to meet someone quality. I was tired after all of those years and from having my marriage end. It is five years later and I now have the love of my life and did not have to go through a dating site to meet her. We have joint friends together and the introduction and dating process have been a perfect synchronicity for me.
All of my fears were unfounded, not just about finding a relationship but also with all of the other aspects, like finance. I spent most of my time in fears and doubts. If I could do it all over again, I would handle myself much differently at those difficult and crucial moments leading up to the divorce.
My focus was so much on my wife and keeping my family together before the divorce. I did not see my own value and only allowed catastrophic thoughts to enter my mind. I sank into a mild depression where I thought I needed my wife in order for my life to work out.
I learned a lot about myself since then, and you will learn and adapt too in your situation. As simple as this may sound, there is one central belief you must have in order to speed your recovery and heal from a divorce or breakup. It is simply this: “I know I have what it takes to get over this breakup and live life on my terms.”
The above simple belief lifts the stress of thinking you will be stuck forever where you are currently. The focus is pulled off the other person and places you squarely in charge. Own the fact that everything will be great going forward.
Trust yourself and see the value you have inside to not stay stuck and to start generating solutions today. Spend your time figuring your new life out versus living in past experiences, emotions, and problems. Forgive yourself for anything you didn’t do perfectly and simply own that life is moving forward for you.
A common question I get is about getting on with life after a partner leaves for another man or woman during an affair. When we receive the news that our spouse or partner is leaving us a total life upheaval comes with it. With the added news that your partner is leaving for another man or woman just adds to the heartache.
The natural reaction is to feel anger and rejection when the news comes. A self-negotiation takes place about “why” it happened. Then the self-penetrating questions start, like:
- What about me wasn’t good enough for them?
- How could they toss a 15 year relationship together for somebody who doesn’t even know them?
- What do I tell the kids (if applicable)?
- Why would they choose another person when all they needed was here?
The questions will invade your mind and will add to a lack of confidence and ruminate without answers at times. You have to remember that in today’s society the grass always looks greener on the neighbor’s lawn. Perceived options of the person who had the affair are larger in their head then the chances that the new person will have their own set of baggage too. They can blame you for all you ever did wrong in the relationship and make you feel guilty, but in the end it is their own behavior and problem they created.
Affairs happen for a variety of reasons. An article entitled, 9 facts about cheating that couples – and singles – should know by Shana Lebowitz, in Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/science-of-cheating-2016-8#-1 state some possible reasons affairs take place. According to the studies quoted, affairs can often be tied to financial sustainability of the cheating spouse. For example, when men are the breadwinners — specifically, when they earn more than 70% of the total household income — they’re more likely to cheat. Birthday timing is also quoted as a reason people cheat. The quoted article stated, “right before you hit the big 4-0 or 5-0, for example, you have a greater chance of trying to find meaning in life by having a relationship with someone who isn’t your partner.” The fact is that you can just add to emotions that put you in a tailspin trying to figure out the reasons.
So, what do we do when we are left to pick up the pieces? How can we move on and trust in ourselves again yet envision a life with another person after our trust has been violated?
1. Realize the affair and the choice to make that choice is fully on the other person. Even with couples who are deeply in love, there is an excitement or connection (whether false or not) in another. Allow them to live with the consequences. It is not your issue to contend with. Don’t make excuses for them. They broke the trust, not you.
2. Now you have choices of your own. You can decide how to live a brighter full life without them. The length of time you carry this as your own burden is something you can decide. You can decide where to spend your time, what goals you want to pursue, and who you would like to spend your time with.
3. Trust yourself enough to not immediately go out and seek revenge by sleeping with someone else. Take time to sort your thoughts. Take time to breathe and allow stress to escape. Realize you came into the relationship with great qualities and will leave with the same.
4. Find some form of stress relief like walking, workouts, reading something positive, or spend time with friends who understand you.
If you are curious about the topic in more detail, the video attached gets into more detail about affairs. Just remember, you still have a life to live and have many options for moving on at your disposal.
When we are stuck in the thick of terrible emotions such as rejection, loneliness, and fear after being discarded from a relationship, it is easy to stay stuck without some mental interventions to help us past it. A friend once told me, we are like CDs playing and the CD plays the same until we put a scratch on it. Our minds loop over and over. I created the following six questions to help me distance myself mentally from my divorce:
- What is great about this breakup (or divorce), or what could be?
- Was there ever a time when you thought about breaking up the relationship yourself? Why?
- What are some qualities or beliefs of your ex that drove you crazy?
- What are some of the things that you would never do with your ex but would do now that you are out of the relationship?
- What are the differences in the relationship that you had to compromise on consistently?
- What are some of the relationships they had (family, friends) with people who drove you crazy or brought stress to your life?
This is a starting point for you. Feel free to create more questions of your own. If you start missing your partner, simply pull out your answers to these questions and you will be able to distance yourself from the need to hold on any longer than necessary.
Being abandoned in a love relationship is devastating. Every wound emotionally seems to be opened and stacks on past experiences to hurt even more. It is easy to slip into “this world sucks” attitude. It seems all or nothing. Blocks of pain exist and we lose pieces of our lives stuck in a state of torture.
Against my divorce I had a terrible inner dialogue. I has challenges trying to silence this dialogue. With thoughts flying a thousand miles an hour and the feelings that follow, it was no wonder that my results all contained pain. The worst part was that this energy was impacting my children, who needed me more than ever. I can’t imagine I was a great friend to others at that time either.
I was at a breaking point emotionally at that time. I was still drinking (rum and cokes at that time) and I knew all the ways to superficially deal with my emotions and losses. I hit my limit of emotional stress and knew it was killing me. I decided to take gaps of time just to be in the moment and not lend any thoughts to the divorce. Just having those gaps removed a ton of pressure. I took time to really smell the coffee or espresso I was having. I took time to look into my son’s eyes and experience his world. It gave me a break in the pressure I was experiencing. In short, I gave myself a break.
There are so many great focuses and experiences we can have. When we are blinded to our problems, and stay in them, that is the reality we will live in. Instead take time to just experience the good around you at this moment. Stop and breathe and take it all in. Happiness and peace are things we tune into. They will not just be supplied.
I was talking to a friend today about the topic of unwanted negative emotions. I was reminded of a book I read recently with the title, “High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way” by Brendon Burchard. The book is based on a study of over 100,00 high performers. Not only does the book focus on career ambitions, but has a lot to say on the topic of staying on what is truly important.
One tip in the book is to decide in advance how you want to feel in each situation we enter. For example, even if it is just a phone call, set your intention on what you want yourself or others to get out of the situation. What do you want as a result of the conversation for you and the other person on the call with you. Decide on intentions you want from the call. Also, name the feeling you want as a result of the call. The purpose from life is to get from the process of life, not just to move through it. Presence is a huge focus to get joy from our lives.
Think of your day in advance. List everything you plan to encounter and simply ask what you want from each task or encounter. Also set an intention. You will be amazed how much more juice that comes because of this one simple practice.